Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder characterized by extreme fatigue or tiredness that does not go away with rest and can’t be explained by an underlying medical illness.
CFS may also be known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic effort intolerance disease (SEID).
The causes of CFS are not completely understood yet. Some concepts include viral disease, emotional stress, or a combination of variables.
Since no single cause was identified, also because many other conditions produce similar symptoms, CFS can be hard to diagnose.
There are no tests for CFS. Your doctor will need to rule out other causes for your fatigue when deciding on a diagnosis.
While CFS was previously a contentious diagnosis, it’s now widely recognized as a medical condition.
CFS can affect anybody, although it’s most frequent among women Trusted Source in their 40s and 50s. There’s currently no cure, but therapy can alleviate symptoms.
Here’s what you need to know about CFS, including symptoms, treatment alternatives, and prognosis.
Causes of CFS:
The cause of CFS is unknown. Researchers speculate that contributing factors may include:
- A diminished immune system
- Hormonal imbalances
It’s also possible that some people are more prone to develop CFS.
Although CFS can occasionally develop after a viral infection, no single type of disease has been found to cause CFS.
Some viral diseases that have been studied in relation to CFS include those caused by:
- Ross River virus (RRV)
- Rubella virus
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
- Human herpesvirus 6
Diseases brought on by bacteria, such as Coxiella burnetii and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, have also been analyzed in regard to CFS.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Supply has suggested that CFS might be the endpoint of numerous different conditions, as opposed to one specific condition.
In fact, about 1 in 10 people with EBV, Ross River virus, or Coxiella burnetii infection may develop a condition that satisfies the criteria for a CFS diagnosis.
Additionally, researchers say that people who have had severe symptoms with any of those three infections are at a higher risk for later developing CFS.
People with CFS sometimes have weakened immune systems, but doctors do not know if this is enough to cause the disorder.
People with CFS may also sometimes have abnormal hormone levels. Doctors haven’t yet concluded whether this can be important, either.
Risk factors for CFS:
CFS is most commonly seen among people in their 40s and 50s.
Sex also has an important role in CFS, as girls are two to four times much more likely to be diagnosed with CFS compared to men.
Other factors that may increase your risk for CFS include:
- Environmental variables
Symptoms of CFS:
The symptoms of CFS vary based on the individual and the severity of the condition.
The most common symptom is fatigue that is intense enough to interfere with your everyday activities.
For CFS to be identified, a substantially reduced capacity to perform your regular daily activities with fatigue must endure for at least 6 months. It must not be curable with bed rest.
You will also experience extreme fatigue after physical or psychological activities, which can be referred to as post-exertional malaise (PEM). This will last for more than 24 hours after the action.
CFS can also introduce sleep problems, for example:
- Feeling unrefreshed after a night’s sleep
- Chronic insomnia
- Other sleep disorders
Additionally, you may also experience:
- Loss of memory
- Reduced concentration
- Orthostatic intolerance (going from lying or seated to standing positions causes you to light-headed, dizzy, or faint)
Some physical symptoms of CFS include:
- Muscle soreness
- Frequent headaches
- Multi-joint pain without redness or swelling
- Frequent sore throat
- Tender and swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits
CFS affects some people in cycles, with periods of feeling worse and better.
Symptoms might occasionally even disappear completely, which is known as remission. However, it is possible for symptoms to return afterward, which is referred to as a relapse.
This cycle of remission and relapse can make it tricky to manage your symptoms, but it’s possible.
CFS is a very difficult condition to diagnose.
According to the Institute of Medicine, as of 2015, CFS occurs in roughly 836,000 about 2.5 million Americans. It is estimated, however, that 84 to 91 percent have yet to be given a diagnosis.
There are no medical tests to screen for CFS. Its symptoms are similar to many different conditions. A lot of people with CFS do not”look ill,” so physicians may not realize that they indeed have a health condition.
So as to obtain a CFS diagnosis, your doctor will rule out other potential causes and examine your medical history with you.
They’ll confirm that you have the core symptoms previously mentioned. They will also ask about the length and seriousness of your unexplained fatigue.
Ruling out other possible causes of fatigue is a key portion of the diagnosis procedure.
Some conditions with symptoms that resemble those of CFS include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Major depressive disorder
- Severe obesity
The unwanted effects of specific drugs, such as antihistamines and alcohol, can mimic symptoms of CFS too.
Due to the similarities between symptoms of CFS and many other conditions, it’s important to not self-diagnose. Speak with your doctor about your symptoms. They can work with you to find relief.
There is currently no specific cure for CFS.
Each individual has different symptoms and consequently may require unique kinds of treatment to deal with the disorder and alleviate their symptoms.
Work with your group of healthcare providers to create the very best treatment plan for you. They could go over the possible benefits and side effects of the therapies with you.
Post-exertional malaise( PEM)Symptoms:
PEM happens when even minor physical, psychological, or psychological exertion results in CFS symptoms becoming worse.
Worsening symptoms usually occur 12 to 48 hours after the activity and persist for weeks or even weeks.
Activity direction also referred to as pacing, helps balance rest and action to avoid PEM flare-ups. You will need to find your unique limits for physical and mental actions, plan these activities, and then rest to stay within these limits.
Some doctors refer to staying within these limits as the”energy envelope” Keeping a journal of your activities might help you locate your individual limits.
It is important to be aware that while vigorous aerobic exercise is excellent for many chronic conditions, individuals with CFS do not endure such exercise routines.
Home remedies and lifestyle modifications:
Making some lifestyle changes can help lessen your symptoms.
Limiting or removing your caffeine consumption can help you sleep better and ease your insomnia. You should restrict or avoid alcohol and smoking too.
Try to prevent napping during the day when it’s damaging your ability to sleep during the night.
Produce a sleep routine. Proceed to bed at the same time every night and aim to wake up around the same time every day.
Typically, no 1 medication can deal with all your symptoms. Also, your symptoms may change over time, which means that your medications may need to as well.
Oftentimes, CFS can trigger or be a symptom of depression. You may require low-dose antidepressant treatment or a referral to a mental health provider.
If lifestyle changes don’t give you a restful night’s sleep, your doctor may suggest a sleep aid. Pain-reducing medication can also help you cope with aches and joint pain due to CFS.
If medication treatment is needed, it will have to be tailored for your needs. Cooperate with your doctor. There is no one-size-fits-all therapy for CFS.
Acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, and massage may help alleviate the pain associated with CFS. Always talk to your doctor before starting any alternative or complementary treatments.
Chronic fatigue syndrome news:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition lasting for more than 6 weeks in which an individual feels tired almost all of the time and may have difficulty concentrating and carrying out daily activities.
Other symptoms include sore throat, fever, muscle fatigue, headache, and joint pain. Also called CFS.
Chronic fatigue syndrome quiz:
Take the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Quiz some important question people had may include:
We all get tired. Many of us have felt depressed occasionally. But the mystery known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not like the normal ups and downs we experience in daily life.
- For many people, chronic fatigue syndrome could start when?
- Following a cold
- After bronchitis
- After hepatitis
- Any of the above
- The mental fatigue and confusion of CFS have been in comparison to what other condition?
- A hangover
- The flu
- Sleep apnea
- Which of them isn’t a normal symptom of CFS?
- A rash over the back
- Inability to focus
- Tender lymph nodes
- Who is most likely to buy CFS?
- College-educated women
- College-educated men
- Women of any age
- Men of any age
- Which laboratory test can figure out for sure if someone has CFS?
- Hemoglobin check
- Blood glucose
- Spinal tap
- None of above
- What’s the main cause of CFS?
- None of the above
- How is CFS treated?
- None of the above
- Which of those statements is true about those who have CFS?
- People with CFS eventually lose their fingerprints
- Some people with CFS have a diet deficiency that causes their condition
- People with CFS are more likely to commit suicide compared to people with other disorders
- None of the above
Chronic fatigue syndrome vs. fibromyalgia:
The distinction is that, in fibromyalgia, fatigue often requires a backseat to painful muscle pain.
In chronic fatigue syndrome, most people have an overwhelming shortage of energy, but in addition, may experience some pain
Chronic fatigue syndrome fibromyalgia symptom checklist:
- Issues with concentration or memory.
- Sore throat.
- Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits.
- Unexplained joint or muscle pain.
- Dizziness that worsens with transferring from lying or sitting to standing.
- Unrefreshing sleep.
What can be expected in the long term?
Despite increased research efforts, CFS remains an intricate condition with no specific known cause and cure. The recovery rate is only 5%Trusted Source. Managing CFS can therefore be challenging.
You will likely have to create lifestyle modifications to adapt to your chronic fatigue. As a result, you might experience depression, nervousness, or social isolation. You may find that joining a support group may be helpful as you are making decisions and alterations.
CFS progresses differently in everybody, so it’s very important to work with your physician to create a treatment plan that meets your requirements.
A lot of people gain from working with a group of healthcare providers. This may include doctors, therapists, and rehabilitation experts.
If you’re living with CFS, the Solve ME/CFS Initiative has tools you may find helpful. The CDC also provides recommendations for managing and living with CFS.
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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